Fewer accidents mean fewer injuries.
A safety system that’s more than the sum of its parts.
Working towards a safer world.
A history of our safety innovations.
CIRCLE OF LIFE
Discover the lifecycle of our safety philosophy.
Being safe is about preventing accidents – not just projection.
Discover the concept car that spawned 15 safety innovations.
THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
Underpinning all Volvo’s crash-test research is a safety philosophy that our engineers call the “circle of life”.
1 - Real-life accidents
Volvo is one of the few car manufacturers with its own accident research team. Since 1970, the team has studied over 40,000 accidents involving a Volvo. Knowledge saves lives.
2 - Safety requirements
Volvo has always been a leader in safety, and all modern Volvos meet or exceed current statutory requirements set by governments for car manufacturers.
3 - Product developments
This is when components, systems and complete cars are developed. Extensive computer simulation testing is used by safety engineers and safety experts. Any Volvo car has usually been crash tested and studied in the computer thousands of times during development.
4 – Testing
One of the most crucial model development stages, and why Volvo invested so heavily in our state-of-the-art Safety Centre, is where we reconstruct and simulate real-life accidents in the laboratory.
5 – Production
Once testing is over, new models and safety innovations go into production and find their place in real-world road situations. Then, the whole cycle begins again.
Our preventative safety systems
At Volvo we take a holistic approach, so safety isn't just about safety cages or crumple zones, it’s about how best to protect people in real-life situations. That’s why we design innovative pro-active safety systems to help prevent accidents from happening in the first place. All to keep you safer.
City Safety collision avoidance technology is a Volvo world first standard feature for safer urban driving. At speeds up to 30 km/h, this laser-based technology monitors the traffic ahead, and it senses an impending collision, automatically applies the brakes and switches off the throttle the brakes if you don’t brake to help mitigate the effects of a collision.
Driver Alert Control
Driver Alert Control helps alert tired or distracted drivers at speeds over 65 km/h. Using signals from a digital camera it monitors the road ahead along with steering wheel movements and compares erratic behaviour to your normal driving style. If your driving behaviour shows signs of drowsiness or distraction, you receive an audible warning and a message displayed on the instrument panel.
Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake
At speeds up to 35 km/h Volvo's innovative Pedestrian Detection system can detect if anyone unexpectedly steps out in front of your car. It first alerts you with a flashing red warning light on the windscreen and an audible alarm, and if you fail to brake in time, it applies the full force of the brakes automatically.
The Safety Concept Car
More than 15 safety innovations found in today's Volvos were first proposed over a decade ago with our Safety Concept Car. Along with its cutting-edge technology, it also foreshadowed the design of the Volvo C30. Built to reduce injuries to a minimum and improve driver visibility, it featured transparent window pillars, infra-red night vision and automatic adjustment of seats, controls and pedals for optimum driver positioning.
Meet the virtual crash test dummy that thinks it’s pregnant.
Even our crash-test dummies are smarter than average.
Discover why we gave away one of our safest inventions.
Preventing injuries from batteries is also our business.
To Volvo, an unborn child is already a passenger. Which is why at our Safety Research Centre in Gothenburg we created Linda; a virtual pregnant crash test dummy. Data collected helps make our cars safer for pregnant women and their own precious cargo.
We use a variety of adult and child sized dummies, each matching the weight, size and proportions of their human counterparts. Add sophisticated electronics measuring deceleration, displacement and other forces involved in an accident, and it equals one smart dummy.
3 Point Safety Belt
Once, seatbelts were simple lap-belts that were only effective to a degree. But in 1959, Volvo safety engineer Nils Bohlin invented the three-point seatbelt, which is still used in cars today. And to ensure it was adopted by everyone - not just Volvo drivers - we deliberately didn’t patent it either.
Electric Car Safety
Volvo Cars conducts extensive analysis of a variety of safety scenarios for cars with electric power. Through advanced automatic monitoring of battery status and by encapsulating the battery and protecting it effectively in a collision, the result is a comprehensive safety package of the very highest class.
C30 ELECTRIC CRASH TEST
It’s -18 degrees Celsius just outside the Swedish mining town Kiruna, north of the Arctic circle.
In this environment Volvo Cars winter tests their cars and it is here the Volvo C30 Electric has to show its true colours.
Extreme cold can be a particular challenge for electric cars.
Annelie Gustavsson Product Manager Volvo Cars
The winter is affecting the electric car in such a way,
that we have to adjust the temperature for the compartment where the driver is sitting
and also for the battery so that they can deliver the power that is requested.
But there are technical solutions that maintain heat for both batteries and passengers inside the car in conditions like these.
When it is cold, an Ethanol powered fuel heater to maintain a warm temperature.
Annelie Gustavsson Product Manager Volvo Cars
We have managed this in this C30 Electric by using three different climate systems,
which cooperate and distribute heat where it is needed and optimized to the driving conditions.
How far can you drive when it is -10 degrees Celsius?
Annelie Gustavson Product Manager Volvo Cars
In -10 I would say you can drive 80 to 90 km and of course it depends on how you drive.
Volvo Cars are in the middle of their final winter test for electric cars.
Andreas Olsson Test Engineer Volvo Cars
We do it like a normal customer - start the car and take away.
The expectation of the car is just like any day of the year.
It copes very well with the driver and we have driven it down in -33 degrees Celsius outside, inside the coupe it’s warm and cosy.
What do the journalists who have test driven the electric car on site in this Arctic winter think?
Thomas Berggren Journalist Auto Motor & Sport.
Erik Gustafsson Journalist Teknikens Varlid.
It differs very little from driving a petrol or a diesel driven car.
I would say it is so little difference you won’t even notice it if it is an automatic gearbox in the car.
It was warm as a normal car - just put on the AC and then it was just fine.
We took the car - it was -18 degrees Celsius in the air, we had three minutes and we had acceptable heat in the car. Which I thought was very good.
Well, it seems that the Volvo C30 Electric has no problem coping with the cold.
The car’s unique climate control system has sufficient capacity to warm up the batteries
and still ensure that it is more than acceptably warm inside the car.
It’s possible to drive up to 70 to 80 km even if it is extremely cold, -33 degrees for example.
Volvo Cars has a strong believe in the future of the electric car that can in fact provide up to 90% of personal transport by car.
When accidents happen we’re there to learn why.
Discover how crashing cars can actually save lives.
THE VOLVO SAVED
MY LIFE CLUB
Meet people who owe their lives to their Volvos.
Traffic Accident Research
Volvo was the first car manufacturer to create its own Traffic Accident Research Unit. Since its launch in 1970, the Unit has analysed over 40,000 accidents and used that research to develop innovative solutions like our Whiplash Protection System that has proven to reduce long-term whiplash injuries by more than 50%.
Volvo Cars Safety Centre
Knowledge saves lives. Opened in 2000, Volvo’s unique crash-test safety laboratory enables us to recreate the many different accident types on the road, such as car-to-car, car-to-truck and car-to-bus in different speeds and crash angles. A huge technological investment to help save lives.
The Volvo Saved My Life Club
Our commitment to reducing accidents isn’t driven by statistics. It’s about mothers. Fathers. Children and grandchildren. Anyone who uses a car. The Volvo Saved My Life Club is the human face of all our technology, engineering and every evening we spent working late.
And every one of these stories makes it all worthwhile.
The Bowles Family
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
“I was turning left into the local community center to play volleyball. I had my entire family in the car.”
The Klein Family
Mission Viejo, California
“We impacted, the front of the cars hit, it spun us around, the back of our cars hit…we went down a hill through trees and shrubs and bushes.”
Queens Creek, Arizona
“I swerved into oncoming traffic, and hit a semi...My car spun around, and I saw in front of me the truck, trailer, rolling over the street.”
MORE TRUE LIFE STORIES
This advanced facility has two test tracks: One permanent and one moveable.
The moveable track can be turned by as much as 90 degrees.
The unique design of these tracks makes it possible to crash-test cars of different sizes,
at different speeds, from different angles and in different traffic environments
- a major advance for safety research and one which is unique to Volvo.
Laser technology ensures that the tests are conducted in exactly the right position
and at exactly the right speed.
The events are documented by senses and high-speed cameras.
Volvo´s high-tech crash barrier weighs 800 tonnes and is moved into place by air cushions.
This barrier makes it possible to recreate many different accident situations
and thereby develop even more effective protection.
OUR SAFETY FIRST
A history of our safety innovations
Passenger compartment steel safety cage.
Laminated windshields standard 15 years before mandatory (in USA).
World’s first 3-point front lap/shoulder
seat belts as standard.
Padded instrument panel
World’s first rear-facing child seat.
Crumple zones front & rear.
Rear outboard 3-point lap/shoulder
seat belts standard.
Front seat head restraints
Front seat inertia reel safety belts.
Accident Research Team.
Seat belt reminder standard.
Childproof locks on
Rear outboard seat inertia reel safety belts.
Collapsible steering column.
Isolated fuel tank protected from rear collisions.
World’s first child safety booster cushion.
Wide-angle rear view mirror.
Front and rear anti-submarining protection.
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS).
High-mounted brake lights in rear window.
World’s first rear centre
Integrated child safety booster cushion in rear centre seat.
World’s first Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) -
5 years before mandatory.
Automatic front height adjusting seat belts.
3-point lap/shoulder seat belts standard equipment in all seats.
World’s first side impact airbags introduced
in new models.
Roll Over Protection
World’s first Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS).
World’s first full length inflatable curtain (IC).
ISOFIX child seat
Dual-stage frontal airbags.
Volvo Safety Center opened.
Concept Car (SCC).
Rollover Stability Control (RSC) in Volvo XC90 using gyro sensor and DSTC.
Rollover Protection System (ROPS), including long duration Inflatable Curtain (IC) in all seat rows, seat belt pretensioners, and reinforced roof structure.
Linda the virtual pregnant crash test dummy.
World’s first new patented front structure.
Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS).
World’s first Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) in passenger cars.
Water repellent glass.
World’s first door mounted inflatable curtain (DMIC)
in new C70.
Collision Warning with Brake support.
World’s first integrated two-stage booster cushion with extended IC (Inflatable Curtain) and force limiter adapted for children.
New, stronger side structure using different grades of high
Driver Alert System, including Driver Alert Control and
Lane Departure Warning.
Collision Warning with
World’s first City Safety system for avoiding low-speed collisions
standard in XC60.
Vision 2020: By 2020 no-one should be killed or injured in a Volvo car.
New range of seat restraints for infants and children up to 12 years.
World’s first Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake launched
in S60 and V60.